By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Joint Task Force Negros (JTFN) reported that some valuables belonging to the suspects in the assassination of late Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo and eight others were seized from a sugar mill compound in Sta. Catalina town on Thursday, March 30.
Major Cenon Pancito III, JTFN spokesperson, said the items were recovered in the premises of the sugar mill property at HDJ Tolong compound in Barangay Caranoche, reportedly owned by former Governor Pryde Henry Teves.
Recovered were a silencer, a soldering iron, assorted documents of suspects in the Pamplona massacre, a flash drive, rifle cleaning paraphernalia, empty slugs of .45 caliber ammunition, a Swiss Army knife, a tucker used for target papers, and assorted burnt belongings and clothes of identified suspects.
Pancito said that the items were dug up using a backhoe.
The latest discovery was part of the series of continuous operations led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) that started on March 24, through a search warrant.
During the series of raids, several high-powered firearms, explosives, and several ammunition were seized.
Teves is the younger brother of suspended third district Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., who has been tagged as the alleged mastermind in the killing of Degamo and eight others at his residence in Pamplona town on March 4.
Seventeen others were wounded in the gun attack.
Degamo unseated the younger Teves after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) credited to the slain governor the votes of nuisance candidate “Ruel Degamo.”
The Teveses’ have earlier denied any link to the incident.
The former governor also denied that the firearms and the P18 million cash that were recovered from the van at their family’s compound belonged to him.
He earlier said that while he is the president of the company, he only owns 10 percent of it and it has five other incorporators.
Meanwhile, the younger Teves also urged his older brother to return to the country and face the allegations against him.
Rep. Teves went abroad for medical reasons in late February.
But he did not go home despite the expiration of his travel authority on March 9, due to a grave security threat to his life and family following his implication to the March 4 incident.
Soldiers’ vow to secure Negrenses
About 26 days since the killing of Degamo, JTFN said it remains relentless, persistent, and agile in curbing any forms of violence on the island.
Military troopers and the police man checkpoints, occupy detachments, carry out patrols, perform humanitarian assistance, and execute law enforcement support operations.
More than 500 soldiers were deployed in different areas in Negros island. These areas included Dumaguete City, Bayawan City, Guihulngan City, Tanjay City, Siaton, Pamplona, Bacong, Dauin, Valencia, Mabinay, Basay, Bais, Sta. Catalina, Ayungon, Tayasan, Zamboanguita, Vallehermoso, and Manjuyod in Negros Oriental, and in the municipalities of La Castellana, Hinoba-an, E.B. Magalona, and the cities of Kabankalan, Victorias, and Bacolod in Negros Occidental.
Other assets and capabilities were also deployed by JTFN to support the police’s ongoing law enforcement operation in the island.